A close friend made this Mexican-Italian bake for me almost 20 years ago, and I've prepared it regularly ever since. It comes together in a snap because it relies largely on convenient ingredients I keep on hand. We like it with a loaf of crusty bread. —Rose Turner Minnick, Christiansburg, Virginia
- 12 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 envelope taco seasoning
- 1 jar (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce
- 1 jar (4-1/2 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
- 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
- Shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, salsa and picante sauce
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
- Stir in the taco seasoning, spaghetti sauce, mushrooms and olives. Drain spaghetti; stir into the beef mixture.
Transfer to a greased shallow 3-qt. baking dish; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa and picante sauce.
Freeze option: Cool unbaked casserole; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa and picante sauce. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Southwestern Spaghetti in Quick Cooking March/April 2003, p29
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